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Political Violence and the Electoral Process in Nigeria an Overview of the 2006 Presidential Election



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Political Violence and the Electoral Process in Nigeria an Overview of the 2006 Presidential Election



ABSTRACT

One of the basic Machineries of any Representative democratic system is the Electoral Process. The Experience of the western representative democracy in Nigeria can be traced from the Clifford and Mcpherson Constitutions for 1922 and 1951 respectively. This was elaborated at independence in the first and second republic and subsequent periods.

 

Very Ugly Experiences have characterized the activities with the Electoral Process that constitutes the burning questions in this work with malpractice, fraud and therefore violence.

 

The Election of the first republic displayed Ethnicity in the second Republic Presidential Election (2006) records it ugly tendencies but in and refined form. This time, money and corruption led to Race in electoral malpractice of the past and present on the political system. The study finally traces these political problems of the country to basic socio-institutional origins of the ethnicity class, material consciousness and others.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The significance of election has an instrument for regime change has been recognized in most part of the world. Its importance in a democratic society has been acknowledge by democratic means in highly cherished by the populace. Election of course can be the basic tool of democratic development.

 

Political violence in Nigeria as a matter of fact cannot be over emphasized. Political violence is a process that gave room for political instability or unrest. That is political violence encompasses, political assassinations, killings, thuggery, stealing of ballot boxes and papers, intimidation, riggings and fund. Political violence according to Ojiaka (1981) gave an account of political violence and fraud as intense in the western region election held on October 11, 1965. The political violence took the following shape.

 

i. Ten houses were burnt

 

ii. Two people were killed

 

iii. About 24 people were arrested for allegedly in possession of large quantity of ballot papers

 

iv. Twelve ballot boxes containing papers were discovered at twelve different filling stations in Ondo-State.

 

Electoral fraud being parts and parcel of political violence is an act of decert involved in a elections by a persons or group of persons in order to have an advantage over a person or group of persons.

 

Fraud association with successive elections seems more sophisticated than previous ones. In the election that ushered in the second republic government in 2006, Gargantuan fraud was alleged to have accrued, heading to litigation by the opposition parties against the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) that won at the federal level. The level of sophistication in the election that returned Shehu-Shargi of NPN to Shagari’s presidential elections made a shame of elections in Nigeria.

 

 

 

The ill fated third republic that lasted from 1991-1993 was not free from social democratic party (SDP) and Bashiri Tofa of national republican convention (NRC) has been adjudged the free and fair election in Nigeria. Rather than improvement on the 1993 elections, things went even worst in the 1999 elections that ushered in the fourth republic.

 

The beneficiary of the 2006 electoral fraud, Olusegun Obasanjo surprised Nigerians when he brazenly introduced high level of irregularities in the 2006 elections in order to secure victory for himself and his party.

 

The fraud in 2006 elections is perhaps, jokingly referred to us as electronic rigging owing to the fail that electronic voting system was used in many quarters because of the magnituble of alleged irregularities involved.

 

The fraud in the presidential election was so brazen that many Nigeria’s called for its cancellation for another election to be conducted by the United Nations. Reading to the suggestion, Ekpu (2007) states this: those who think that the United Nations can conduct perfect elections in Nigeria are suffering from the illusion belief that the global is a magician. The united nation would need election officers, who will be Nigerians, all of these Nigerians have their interest, many, geography, tribe and that is why elections hardly work.

 

 

 

However, over the years the desire and task of building a stable democracy in Nigeria has remained a mirage and part of this unfulfilled dream as peaceful change of government ostensibly, through the electoral process. It is a common pattern that election in the third world countries are mined by violence and malpractice and therefore never free and fair as unlike the case in advanced industrial countries.

 

Electioneering and the conduct of supposedly democratic elections seems to highlight the most traits in the characters of Nigeria particularly those of them who are prominent members of the political class as well as those of them who are active participants in electoral process. The national problem stems from the fact that Nigeria fits Thomas Hobbes description of man in his state of nature. He is basically self seeking and self-centered.

 

This determines the greed in Nigerian man. This greed manifest itself on daily ways of life. Hence the cultural or a cultural flat has become part of our socio politically economic organizations.

 

All the nation wide elections so far conducted by Nigerian for Nigerians have virtually brought our country to the brink of civil way. This was true of the presidential election of 2006, if we agreed that elections in basic tool of democratic development its application becomes over more vital political transition such as we have in this country since independence.

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Political Violence and the Electoral Process in Nigeria an Overview of the 2006 Presidential Election


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One of the basic Machineries of any Representative democratic system is the Electoral Process. The Experience of the western representative democracy in Nigeria can be traced from the Clifford and Mcpherson Constitutions for 1922 and 1951 respectively. This was elaborated at independence in the first and second republic and subsequent periods. Very Ugly Experiences have characterized the activities with the Electoral Process that constitutes the burning questions in this work with malpractice, fraud and therefore violence. The Election of the first republic displayed Ethnicity in the second Republic Presidential Election (2006) records it ugly tendencies but in and refined form. This time, money and corruption led to Race in electoral malpractice of the past and present on the political system. The study finally traces these political problems of the country to basic socio-institutional origins of the ethnicity class, material consciousness and others. .. Click here for more

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